University of Minnesota   College
Constitution

College of Design Constitution

Article I. Approval Process

Section 1: Approval

This constitution shall become effective immediately following its adoption by the faculty of the College and its approval by the Executive Vice President and Provost. Adoption will require a majority vote of the faculty (as defined in Article IV: Section 1) at a meeting at which there is a quorum (as defined by Section 2 of the Bylaws) or by a mail/e-mail ballot. The vote of the faculty ratifying the constitution shall be certified by signature of the dean.

Section 2: Amendments

The constitution of the College may be amended by a two-thirds majority of members of the Faculty Assembly. A ratified amendment shall become effective when approved by the Executive Vice President and Provost.

Article II. College Mission

Through a unique commitment to creativity and advancing technologies, the College of Design at the University of Minnesota leads, innovates and educates in the full range of design fields by researching ongoing and emerging issues, exploring new knowledge, and addressing and solving real-world problems; all while adhering to socially responsible, sustainable, and collaborative design thinking.

Article III. The Dean

Section 1: Duties & Authority of the Dean

The Dean is the chief academic and executive officer of the College, responsible for overseeing the academic priorities and day-to-day administrative operations of the College, including but not limited to setting a vision and aligning College resources to support that vision, inspiring and supporting faculty, staff and students in the activities of teaching and learning, research, and public engagement, garnering internal and external support for the College, and building relationships and support with alumni, donors, civic and business leaders and other key partners in the community.

Section 2: Appointment of the Dean

The Dean is appointed by, and serves at the discretion of, the Executive Vice President and Provost has sole authority and responsibility for decisions related to the dean's employment, including but not limited to selection, performance evaluation, and termination. The dean will be appointed in the manner prescribed by the Executive Vice President and Provost. The members of the college assembly expect to be involved in the search and selection process in an appropriate manner. It is recommended by the college assembly that a search committee be appointed by the Executive Vice President and Provost and its membership will be made up of representatives from College constituencies, including faculty, staff, and students.

Article IV. The Faculty

Section 1: Definition of Governing Faculty

The faculty constituency shall, for the purposes of governance, include: 

  • Professors, associate professors, assistant professors, and instructors on full-time (75% time or greater) appointments, on leave, or on phased retirement, holding a regular appointment as defined in Board of Regents Policy: Faculty Tenure.
  • Contract faculty on full-time (75% time or greater) appointments. 
  • Academic teaching, research and outreach professional & administrative (P&A) staff on full time (75% time or greater) appointments meeting the definition established by the Board of Regents. 

Section 2: Faculty Responsibilities

The primary responsibilities of the faculty are curricular policy, and academic curriculum and degree requirements in consultation with the Dean and/or heads of the departments/schools. 

The faculty shall have an appointment in one or more academic units of the College with the attending responsibility for governance in the affairs of that unit(s). The faculty shall exercise its powers and responsibilities by assembled action through their respective academic units, the Faculty Assembly and its committees. Faculty are expected to participate in College governance at all levels: program, academic unit, and College. 

The faculty shall be governed by the policies of the Board of Regents and the University in all matters addressed by those documents or policies that are in effect at the time of adoption or amendment of this constitution or as such documents or policies may be subsequently amended, including, but not limited to, policies and procedures on academic freedom and responsibility, sexual harassment, and implementation of the faculty tenure regulations including post-tenure review. 

Faculty shall have the right to petition for the removal of the Dean. Should circumstances warrant, the procedures for Vote of No Confidence of the Dean shall be followed as specified in the Bylaws. 

Section 3: Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct faculty constituency shall include those classified as adjunct instructor, adjunct assistant professor, adjunct associate professor and adjunct professor, with less than a 75% annual appointment. In addition, for the purposes of governance and committee representation, positions with academic faculty-like responsibilities such as lecturers, teaching specialists, researchers, etc., with appointments less than 75% time are considered to be adjunct faculty. Adjunct faculty have voting rights in the Adjunct Faculty Assembly and representation through the Adjunct Faculty Leadership Committee as defined in the Bylaws. Adjunct Faculty have the right to serve on College governance bodies and working groups as defined by the Bylaws.

Article V. Other Constituents

Section 1: Students

Undergraduate and graduate and professional students are those who are currently enrolled in the College, and in good academic standing. Students admitted to and currently enrolled in a degree program in the College have a right to participate in the governance of the College and its units. Membership of student representatives on College committees is specified in the Bylaws.

Section 2: Academic Professional and Administrative (P&A) Staff

The Academic Professional and Administrative (P&A) staff constituency shall include P&As with positions classified as administrative and professional. P&A staff, including those on leave, shall be eligible for voting rights in the P&A Assembly and representation through the P&A Leadership Committee as defined in the Bylaws. P&A employees have the right and responsibility to serve on College governance bodies and working groups as defined in the Bylaws.

Section 3: Civil Service/Labor-Represented (CS/L-R) Staff

The CS/L-R staff constituency shall include all CS/L-R staff. CS/L-R staff, including those on leave, shall be eligible for voting rights on the CS/L-R Assembly and representation through the CS/L-R Leadership Committee as defined in the Bylaws. CS/L-R employees have the right and responsibility to serve on College governance bodies and working groups as defined in the Bylaws.

Article VI. Collegiate Structure And Governance

Section 1: Administrative Structure

Assistant and Associate Deans

Positions of Associate and Assistant Deans may be established by the dean as warranted by the administrative and programmatic needs of the College. Associate and/or Assistant Deans may be appointed by the Dean of the College. The Dean may assign specific administrative duties to Associate and Assistant Deans and may delegate executive authority to them. The Dean shall make known to the College community the principal areas of responsibility delegated to the Associate and Assistant Deans through position descriptions.

Senior Leadership Group

The Senior Leadership Group is led by the Dean and includes the positions of Associate and Assistant Deans, department/school heads, the Chair of the Faculty Assembly, Directors of Human Resources, Finance, and the Chief of Staff. The Senior Leadership Group will advise the Dean on the planning, coordination and execution of the College-level activities.

Department/School/Center Structure

Schools, departments, programs and centers serve as the basic organizational units that provide the administrative homes for programs and faculty. Membership consists of all collegiate faculty, fellows, and staff with an appointment based in the unit, and students enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs of the academic unit.

Proposals for change in academic unit and/or center structure initiated by faculty will be reviewed by the Dean in consultation with groups directly concerned, including the faculty and staff of the academic unit or center and the Faculty Assembly. Proposals for change initiated by the Dean or the Dean’s designee will be reviewed by groups directly concerned, including the faculty and staff of the academic unit or center and the Faculty Assembly. Changes that require approval of the Executive Vice President and Provost and/or the Board of Regents will be forwarded to the Executive Vice President and Provost and shall include the report of the Faculty Assembly action and the Dean’s recommendation.

College-Wide and Intercollege Centers: The College may have College-wide teaching, research and/or outreach centers and participate in intercollege centers that align with the mission of the College and that have direct administrative and budgetary responsibilities. Directors of College wide centers report directly to the Dean or the Dean’s designee.

Academic Unit Centers: Departments and schools may have teaching, research, and/or outreach centers that align with the mission of the department/school. Academic unit centers report directly to the head of the department/school.

Academic Unit Head Role and Responsibility: The academic unit heads will have responsibility for coordination of teaching/learning, research/discovery, and engagement/outreach programs and activities in their units, the allocation of academic personnel to teaching/research/engagement assignments, personnel development and advancement, and the management of unit budgets in consultation with the College Deans.

Section 2: Academic and Governance Structure

The governing bodies of the College shall be the Faculty Assembly, P&A Assembly and CS/L-R Assembly. Proposals for official policy may originate from any of the governing bodies. Working groups may be appointed as needed. All meetings of governance groups are open to any member of the College to attend.

The Regular faculty, as defined in Board of Regents Policy: Faculty Tenure, shall hold the primary responsibility for governance in tenure-granting units. Governance mechanisms in units shall be established that provide for participation by all appropriate faculty, staff, and groups in the decision-making processes of the unit.

The University and faculty recognize that changes in academic programs, including additions, mergers and dissolutions are an essential part of the development and growth of the institution. Within the College, these changes are based on academic considerations of program quality, student demand, and financial viability. Changes may be proposed by faculty or by the Dean and are undertaken by the Dean only after consultation with the affected program faculty, the College Curriculum Committee, and the Faculty Assembly. The process for initiating and implementing changes in academic programs is outlined in the Bylaws.

College Assembly 

The primary function of the College Assembly is to disseminate information and to discuss matters concerning the College. This is a non-voting body. Standing committees of the College Assembly are the Design Technology Committee, the Diversity Committee, and the Honors and Awards Committee. 

  • Design Technology Committee: The Design Technology Committee provides visionary leadership in relation to the evolutionary use of technology, as well as digitally oriented creative scholarship, within the disciplines across theCollege. 
  • Diversity Committee: The Diversity Committee shall work to ensure a fully inclusive community in the College, committed to supporting diverse people and ways of knowing. 
  • Honors and Awards Committee: The Honors and Awards Committee shall be responsible for coordinating the annual College of Design Honors and Awards process, including the nominations process and dossier review. 

Faculty Assembly 

The Faculty Assembly shall meet to review college-level proposed policies and actions and has legislative authority over College curriculum matters. Faculty Assembly membership shall consist of all faculty as defined in Article IV of the Constitution. 

Standing committees of the Faculty Assembly shall include, but are not limited to the Faculty Leadership Committee, the Faculty Leave Committee, the Faculty Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Salary Equity Review Committee, and the Curriculum Committee. Standing committees of the Faculty Assembly report to the Faculty Assembly and to the Dean. 

  • Faculty Leadership Committee: The Faculty Leadership Committee shall represent the faculty at large. They shall serve as the faculty consulting body to the Dean and as the executive committee of the Faculty Assembly. 
  • Faculty Leave Committee: The Faculty Leave Committee shall provide for the equitable review of proposals for faculty single semester leaves, entrepreneurial leaves, and sabbatical supplements and make recommendations for the award of such proposals to the Dean. 
  • Faculty Promotion and Tenure Committee: The Committee shall review promotion and tenure cases of tenured and tenure-track faculty, as well as contract faculty, ensuring both procedural fairness and academic quality.
  • Salary Equity Review Committee: The Salary Equity Review Committee is charged with reviewing tenure, tenure-track, and contract faculty salaries in the aggregate and reviewing individual requests to ensure equitable salary levels across the College. 
  • Curriculum Committee: The Curriculum Committee provides leadership and guidance on undergraduate and graduate educational issues of concern to faculty, students, and the administration and recommends approval to the Dean of all additions, modifications, and/or deletions of courses, majors, and minors.

Adjunct Faculty Assembly

The Adjunct Faculty Assembly shall meet to discuss Adjunct Faculty matters that come under the jurisdiction of the College. Adjunct Faculty Assembly membership is open to all adjunct faculty as defined in Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution. This is a non-voting body. The Adjunct Faculty Assembly shall have one standing committee. 

  • Adjunct Faculty Leadership Committee: The Adjunct Faculty Leadership Committee will represent the adjunct faculty at large and serve in an advisory role to the Adjunct Faculty Assembly, the Faculty Assembly, and to the Dean.

Academic Professional and Administrative (P&A) Assembly

The P&A Assembly shall meet to discuss all P&A matters that come under the jurisdiction of the College. P&A Assembly membership is open to all P&A staff as defined in Article V of the Constitution. The P&A Assembly shall have one standing committee. 

  • P&A Leadership Committee: The P&A Leadership Committee will serve in an advisory role to the P&A Assembly and to the Dean. The committee will make recommendations on any matter of College policy relevant to P&A staff. The P&A Leadership Committee will also review applications from department/school heads, unit directors, or supervisors for nominees for professional development leaves. 

Civil Service/Labor-Represented Assembly

The CS/L-R Assembly shall meet to discuss all CS/L-R matters that come under the jurisdiction of the College. CS/L-R Assembly membership is open to all CS/L-R staff as defined in Article V of the Constitution. The CS/L-R Assembly shall have one standing committee. 

  • CS/L-R Leadership Committee: The CS/L-R Leadership Committee will serve in an advisory role to the CS/L-R Assembly and to the Dean. The Committee will make recommendations on any matter of College policy relevant to CS/L-R staff to the CS/L-R Assembly and to the Dean. 

Appointed Working Groups

At times, working groups are necessary to inform College processes and policies. The Dean and/or an assembly may initiate a working group and appoint the members based on the recommendations of academic unit heads and/or center directors. Membership of working groups shall consist of faculty, staff and/or students with expertise and/or interest appropriate to the scope of the working group.

Effective date of Constitution

The College of Design Constitution was approved on March 15, 2015.

Amendments: 

February 28, 2020. Updated language to ensure alignment with Provost, University, and HR policies. (Faculty Vote: Approve 51, Reject 0, Abstain 3) 

December 22, 2016. Academic Technology Committee changed name to Design Technology Committee. 

April 29, 2016. Clarified that eligibility for the P&A and CS/L-R Assemblies is any percentage of appointment. Clarified membership of the Senior Leadership Group. Transitioned Academic Technology and Honors and Awards Committee from work groups to standing committees of the College Assembly. Identified a promotion process for contract faculty. Added Salary Equity Review Committee as a standing committee of the Faculty Assembly. 

April 25, 2016. Updated External Relations to Advancement, Director of External Relations to Assistant Dean, and Assistant to the Dean to Chief of Staff.